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Franck Ribéry quits French national team

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France's Franck Ribery has announced he will retire from international football. Photo: AFP
18:13 CEST+02:00
France forward Franck Ribéry, aged 31, announced his shock retirement from international football on Wednesday. The Bayern Munich player, who missed the World Cup with injury, said "the moment has come".

Ribéry announced his decision in an interview with the magazine Kicker.

"I have quit. I knew that the moment had come. I want to concentrate my time ton my family and on my job at Bayern Munich and leave my place [in the national team] to the younger players," he said.

The forward missed the World Cup in Brazil with a back injury played 81 times for the French national team, scoring 16 goals. During the World Cup he criticised some of the methods used by France's medical team.

The highlight of his career with the French national team was in 2006 when his all-action pace and dribbling skills combined with Zinedine Zidane's prowess helped propel France to the World Cup final, where they lost to Italy.

But he failed to rediscover the form of his early years and Ribéry was often criticised for his performances for Les Bleus, which were considered below par, compared to his dazzling displays for Bayern Munich. 

The former winer of the European Player of the Year award, gave a hint of his decision before the World Cup when he announced the tournament in Brazil would be his last.

That statement caused a fair amount of surprise among French football chiefs.

At the time the head of the French Football Federation Noel Le Graet said Ribery was jumping the gun announcing his World Cup retirement.

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"The next World Cup is in four years. Ribery is someone who can last a long time.

"Sporting figures can work for ages so this decision is a little hasty," he said.

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